What Are Some Common Facts About Bats?

Some basic facts about bats include that these flying mammals use echolocation to find food sources or objects in the dark, there are over 1,000 different bat species and females give birth only once per year. Although nearly 70 percent of bats prey on insects, there are others that feed on fruit, fish, nectar and other animals. The vampire bat, which is found in parts of South America, feeds on blood.

In terms of diet, a brown bat can eat approximately 1,000 mosquitoes per hour. Bats can be categorized according to their sizes; the larger bats are called Megachiroptera and the smaller sized ones are grouped in the Microchiroptera class. With a wingspan of nearly 6 feet, the largest bat is the flying fox. A bat's lifespan is over 30 years.

Bats are found all over the world and tend to roost in caves, under bridges and crevices. Bats also can be found in urban locations. For example, there are over a million bats that live under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. In the United States, there are about 40 bat species, but many of these species are in decline or on the endangered list.

Some other interesting facts about bats is that they migrate south or hibernate during the winter season, and bat dropping is called guano and is used as a fertilizer. Bats can fly at a speed of nearly 60 miles per hour.